Today in My History
2021: Working Critic
Books Read in 2022
Books Read in 2022
Cast (updated 7/16)
15 March 2022
I saw on the news this morning that Barak Obama is going to host a 4-part Netflix series on the national parks. It made me think of the book I read recently, "Dear Bob and Sue," about the couple who took it as their job to visit all 59 national parks in this country, many of which I'd never heard of (especially the one in Samoa and the two in Alaska that you can't get to except by plane).
We never went to any national park when I was growing up. My father was not into camping and the only time he ever went camping was with Walt and me, on a weekend in Yosemite. I believe he hated it.
When people ask how Walt and I met each other, we really don't know. We were both members of the Newman Club at UC Berkeley and a group of people from the Newman Club took a trip to Yosemite (I believe all of those who would become the pinata people were part of that group). We know we met each other in Yosemite.
Yosemite kind of became our national park. We've visited there many times, by our selves, with the kids, with Mike and Char. On that afirst trip, Mike, Char and Walt all climbed Half dome.
You look at this big mountain and imagine a few people trying to get to the top...and the you see this. Everybody wants to climb Half Dome. I knew I wouldn't be able to climb it, but I did climb to the top of one of the waterfalls.
(If you want to see a great (and funny) story about Half Dome, I highly recommend watching Huell Howser's video, made in 2010.)
We've camped in Yosemite in the valley and also in the mountainous area, where we ran into bears and where we were so cut off from the world that when we went to the store to buy something, we discovered Nixon had resigned the day before.
When you go to Yosemite, you have to stop at Kings Canyon and the Sequoia national parks to see the redwood trees.
We've taken the kids to several other national parks. We spent some time in Yellowstone, which was the first national park, established in 1872. It is widely held to be the very first national park in the world.
One of my most memorable memories of Yellowstone was near Old Faithful geyser
We had seen the geyser and then went to the gift shop so the kids could buy something. Four of them found things they wanted but Paul was having a terrible time making up his mind. I finally took the other kids outside to the parking lot to wait for him and Walt to come out. The kids had recently learned how to pretend fight and their fistfights looked very real, so Ned and Tom were fighting in the parking lot, punching each other across the lot and some woman thought I was a terrible mother for letting my kids fight.
On a trip to catch a train in Colorado, we stopped at the Grand Canyon. We were on the opposite side from where everyone goes and where most of the pictures are taken. I think we were there for about 15 minutes. We were on such a schedule, we had no time to really appreciate the canyon, but we vowed to return some day. We never did. On thata trip we also drove through Zion in Utah, which was so beautiful we vowed to return, but never did.
As I look at the list of national parks in this country, I am surprised, and pleased to see how many we have visited. We've seen all but one of the 8 parks in California and a lot of the parks on the western half of the United States. We also visited Haleakala National Park in Hawaii and Denali Park in Alaska.
We have wonderful memories of Death Valley, which we visited with Mike and Char a couple of times. It was beautiful especially over Easter holiday, when all the wildflowers were in bloom.
But of all of them, Yosemite will always be my favorite.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #8026